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The Sony Reader: NOT the Ebook version of the IPOD

Dear Sony,

Sony EReaderI just wanted to let you know that I received your email on July 25, 2006, announcing the fall release of your new Sony Reader. The idea of a portable reading device that mimics printed pages is highly appealing. I read that answers one of your staff members gave to various websites about the features of the upcoming Sony Reader at Mobile Read. Of interesting note, is the following:

  • It will read these formats “natively” (meaning no conversion): TXT, RTF, PDF (Unencrypted), BBeB (Encrypted and Unencrypted)
  • It will not resize the PDF so you are stuck reading it in a small, compressed state.
  • The DRM rules allow any purchased eBook to be read on up to six devices (at least one of those 6 must be a PC).
  • If the Sony Reader or your PC breaks, you can always log-in to your CONNECT account and “re-download” your purchased eBooks to a new PC
  • Does not work for MACs
  • No distribution outside the US
  • It appears that it does not support htmls in any version. Booooo. I wonder if that means it won’t support htmls when converting from BBeB. This is so frustrating as an ebook consumer. It means that if I want to read the many books that I have purchased in ebook format as an html then I will not be able to do so a) at all or b) without conversion. GRRRR.

    What about all those MS Lit or Ereader books? I guess if I have MS Lit, I can use a tool to convert to htmls and then convert that to a Word doc and then be able to convert it to BBeB. Yeah, that sounds real simple. Genuis, guys, genius.

    As for the Ereader books, I am just SOL there. I asked Mark F from Boing Boing, who has purchased hundreds of ereader books how he feels about this:

    Would you buy the Sony Reader given that you would be unable to read your Ereader books on the device?

    It depends on the price and the functionality. Eink displays have no backlight, which I don’t like because I read in bed late at night and I don’t want to keep a light on, which would disturb my wife.

    If it is $200 or less, I’ll buy it, but it has to support eReader docs, and plain text, HTML, and PDF. I doubt Sony will do that.

    Do you think that successful sales of Sony Reader will encourage other companies to produce eink devices which would allow you to avail yourself of the E Ink technology?

    I hope so. But I have a feeling Sony is not going to make a good device. It will be locked down, just as the PSP is. People want to have the freedom to tweak the software in their devices. That’s why the Treo is so popular.

    Or do you think that E Ink technology is just a phase that will be pushed out in just a few years by some newer technology (although I can’t figure out what that would be right now except to incorporate a backlight or some type of light within the eink device).

    Perhaps some kind of transflective super high resolution OLED will beat Eink in terms of readability.

    Dave Rothman often refers to digital formats as the Tower of eBabel and it is such an apt description. There are dozens of formats and none are interoperable. If these e-reader execs think that we readers are just so hot for this technology that we will take the time to run our books through 4 different software programs they are greatly out of touch with realilty. Perhaps they have read too many paranormals? Sony, in real life, people do NOT shift into werewolves, vampires do NOT exist and there is not always a HEA at the end of every romance. That’s just in the books.

    Ereader is the largest ebook etailer out there. New York Publishers have been offering their books in MS Lit, Adobe, and Mobipocket formats for years now. What is a reader to do with their previously purchased content? Throw it away? Repurchase? None of those particularly at the price point of $350.00. Right now, a dedicated ebook reader can purchase the Ebookwise Reader for around $100 but the Ebookwise reader allows conversions of htmls.

    As much as I am seduced by the idea of a device that reads like ink on paper, the restrictions are going to prevent me from buying this device. I think.

    Let me just end by telling you that you forgot to include “romance” in your genre listing. Maybe you don’t know this, being from Japan and all, but romance is really hot in the US. So hot that the genre accounts for almost half or over half of all mass markets sold. Romances are a $1 billion industry. As Malle Vallik, an HQN exec says,

    the typical e-book reader is much more likely to be a passionate reader who loves the instant gratification of downloading the book she wants to read and the ability to carry many titles with her

    Not only that, but in direct relation to your product, romance is the fastest growing downloaded genre in the ebook industry. I am sure you already know this so I am assuming that romances are included inside one of the other genres such as “resources and reference” or “self help and improvement”.

    Look, Sony, I want you to succeed. I think the E Ink technology rocks the house. But we romance readers want to spend our time reading books and talking about reading books and talking about the books we read. We do not want to spend our time trying to convert previously purchased books into some weird format which we may not like. We don’t want our books to be tied to one device when technology changes in a nanosecond. I am not convinced that enough paper lovers will convert to ebook reading to make the Sony Reader a success.

    Best regards,

    Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

35 Comments

  1. Keishon
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 07:52:46

    Sounds good and I agree with many of your points. I wouldn’t mind having a dedicated reader but I won’t be buying one anytime soon. I like some of the features of the Sony Reader but you hit on the head what the limitations are with the product. Great article.

  2. David H. Rothman
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 09:14:21

    Bravo, Jane! And I share your same feelings about Sony. It will be bad for e-books if the Reader does not take off. And yet at the same time we need to let Sony know it’s time for a sane approach to the eBabel issue. BBeB is a loser right out the gate. Ny sympathies about your eReader problem. Sony should both address here-and-now needs and work toward a nonproprietary standard without proprietary DRM. – David

  3. Jane
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 09:48:30

    I feel like we current ebook readers are being punished for buying ebooks before the Sony Release. Maybe there will be some enterprising hacker who will find a way that htmls can work and ereader books can work.

  4. Robin
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 12:02:04

    The fact that this won’t work with a Mac make it a no-go for me, despite the appeal of the eink technology. I’ve been thinking of getting a Treo smartphone (I can get one from Cingular for under 200 bucks right now, a 650 model) and upgrading it with a memory card for ebooks.. Does anyone have one of these and can you tell me if it’s a good option?

  5. Jane
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 13:14:29

    [quote comment="2998"] I’ve been thinking of getting a Treo smartphone (I can get one from Cingular for under 200 bucks right now, a 650 model) and upgrading it with a memory card for ebooks.. Does anyone have one of these and can you tell me if it’s a good option?[/quote]

    I don’t have one but I do know that several people like it. Plus, my favorite ereading program – Gowerpoint’s Ubook – has a palm app so you can read htmls on your Treo. :) Welcome to the ereading world, Robin.

  6. Phyl
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 13:45:44

    I’ve been thinking of getting a Treo smartphone (I can get one from Cingular for under 200 bucks right now, a 650 model) and upgrading it with a memory card for ebooks.. Does anyone have one of these and can you tell me if it’s a good option?

    Hi from a first-timer. I hope I’m doing this right.

    I have a Treo Smartphone from Verizon that I got just a couple of months ago. To me, one of the major advantages is having only 1 device to carry around. It’s small and slips easily into a pocket as well as my purse. I usually read in .pdf format, although I’ve been meaning to try out html. Because it’s so small, it only displays around 70-80 words on the screen at a time. You have hit the page down button 3-4 times for each normal page of text. That’s a lot of scrolling. My 50-year old eyes require reading glasses as the text displays in a pretty small font, but that’s true for just about everything anyhow at this point in my life. I love having several books available anytime anywhere. Since it’s also my cell phone, I’m rarely without it. I am very happy with mine.

  7. Robin
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 14:12:39

    I have a Treo Smartphone from Verizon that I got just a couple of months ago.

    If you don’t mind me asking, Phyl, which model do you have and did you buy an extra memory card for your ebooks? Thanks.

  8. Phyl
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 14:41:36

    If you don’t mind me asking, Phyl, which model do you have and did you buy an extra memory card for your ebooks? Thanks.

    I don’t mind, Robin. I got the 700P (Palm OS). I took advantage of an upgrade offer from Verizon. It was still pricey, but I liked the clarity of the screen display. I figured that was important given that I knew I’d use it as a reader. And, yes, I bought a 1.0 GB SD memory card. My husband picked up the card so I’m not sure of the price, but I think it was pretty cheap–in the $20 range.

  9. Charlene
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 15:16:56

    I love the idea of eink, but unless I can move ALL my ebooks over to a better device without jumping through a bunch of hoops, I’m sticking with my Palm.

  10. Carol
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 15:39:19

    I love my Dell Axim V50 PDA. Good resolution, supports Microsoft & Adobe Reader. Very easy to download books.

  11. Cece
    Aug 13, 2006 @ 16:44:11

    I’m still pissed at Sony for making a proprietary MP3 player that won’t play my WMA files. :(

  12. LorelieLong
    Aug 14, 2006 @ 04:21:33

    This isn’t the first time I’ve looked forward to a Sony product and ended up disappointed by the reviews. Sigh. That’s how I ended up with an iPod, too. Rumors have the 6th Gen iPod being an ebook reader….but it’s probably my wishful thinking…..

  13. Nicole
    Aug 14, 2006 @ 08:28:26

    I also love the idea of eInk, but hate how this Sony reader is handling things. But Sony has always been like this with stuff.

    So as much as I want a new reader with a bigger screen, I also want one that will hold all or most of the formats I currently have.

  14. Charlene
    Aug 14, 2006 @ 19:55:11

    This is looking like a better solution. Spendy, but supports PDF and HTML.

    https://www.irexshop.com/product_info.php/products_id/28

  15. Jane
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 07:16:07

    I thought that too Charlene but this video shows page rendering of a pdf to be excruciatingly slow.

  16. Charlene
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 12:01:11

    Yes, and I read in their FAQ or someplace on the site that it has a refresh rate of something like 2 minutes (too lazy to go look it up right now, but it’s on the product specs), but I still see this has a huge step in the right direction. I expect to see improvements that will make eInk really useful.

  17. Mark Carey
    Aug 17, 2006 @ 10:56:50

    Earlier this year I wrote an article about the Tower of eBabel for Informit.com and couldn’t agree more with Jane’s comments. Unfortuantely, many journal editors often do not allow you to offer solutions as though the reader can assimilate them it on their own.
    I believe that the solution to this problem may lie with the reading software – not specific hardware devices. For the past three years OSoft has been working on an open source (free) software progarm, an e-book reader, that reads multiple document formats and operates on virtually all devices including Windows, Mac, Linux, tablets, and most PDAs.
    What is unique about this reader (called dotReader – http://www.dotreader.com) is that the focus is on communication and collaboration amongst readers. The dotReader offers public, private, and group notes and even allowsthe use of embedded polls , surveys, and forums directly within the book. Best of all, the plug-in design allows for the addition of new document formats as they become popular.
    This type of interface is ideal for the romance reader. Jane stated,

    “But we romance readers want to spend our time reading books and talking about reading books and talking about the books we read.”

    Imagine being to talk to other readers directly from within your book. It’s coming in the next few months.

    Mark Carey, President, OSoft

  18. Jane
    Aug 17, 2006 @ 12:39:51

    Mark, I’ve been to Osoft before and I am not quite sure I understand the concept. It’s an ebook reading program, right?, that is a) open source (meaning no DRM) and b) allows notes and annotations. These notes and annotations can be read by anyone who is reading or has read the same book? Interesting concept but I am not sure how I feel about it. It’s so different, it seems, from the current way I read a book.

  19. Mark Carey
    Aug 17, 2006 @ 14:57:48

    Jane,

    The OSoft.com website (ThoutReaderâ„¢)is our first iteration of our eBook reader going back three years. The new version is on dotReader.com, which describes the software, user interface, and capabilities.

    Think of the dotReader like the Adobe Reader that works on all platforms, reads multiple formats (not just PDF), and has embedded notes, polls, forums, and other collaboration tools. Anyone who has a copy of the e-book can participate in public notes or group notes (public notes by invitation only). Imagine people commenting about THEIR ugly divorces in the book War of the Roses or writing their own ending for a romance novel as part of a contest that could be voted on by other readers.

    The dotReader is open source and is free. Unfortunately, publishers would not use it if it did not OFFER DRM. Our DRM option is available here: We don’t like DRM but it is optional at the request of the publisher.

    Thanks for the great question.

    Mark

  20. Monica
    Aug 19, 2006 @ 12:26:43

    Thanks for the article and heads up about the Sony. I really want to get into e-book reading. I have several downloads I haven’t gotten to yet.

    I HATE reading books on the computer and my other option, my Alphasmart Dana sucks. I’m looking to purchase an e-book reader that’s cheap and workable, but I need info along the lines of e-books and e-book readers for dummies.

  21. Jane
    Aug 19, 2006 @ 22:30:22

    I think the cheapest ebook reader on the market is Ebookwise which is a rebranded Rocketbook. If you click on “ebooks” above the post and then look to the right hand side, there are links to ebook articles we have done on different readers and software programs.

  22. NatCh
    Aug 21, 2006 @ 17:56:26

    Several points I’d like to clarify about the Sony Reader and e-ink readers in general. I’ve been following the e-ink reader discussions over on MobileRead.com, so I’ve got a bit more depth of info on a few points than it seems might be the case here. :)

    I guess the first one is that you *can* re-size PDF files, after a fashion. The Sony Reader allows you to rotate the PDF 90 degrees and read the page in sections, allowing something like a 2X increase in size. Unsecured PDF files will allow you to crop the margins, further increasing the effective size.

    HTML — I agree that it would be better if this device supported HTML, but it *does* support several other formats which HTML can be converted to. Not an ideal solution, but workable to an extent…. The other two readers, iRex iLiad (already mentioned in the comments), and the HanLin (also forthcoming) will both handle HTML.

    “Other” other formats — I understand and share the frustration with books purchased in none BBeB formats (.Lit, eReader, etc.) not being readable on the Sony, but think about it for a moment: this is a situation of not being able to read other *proprietary format* (possibly DRMed) books on this reader. Is it really reasonable to expect Sony to support eReader’s format which is *also* proprietary? Think what the licensing fees *alone* would do to the price! Also, it’s a bit contradictory to be upset *both* that they have their own proprietary format *and* that they don’t support *someone else’s* proprietary format. :)

    The REAL problem (as others here have mentioned) is that we don’t have a “standard” e-book format that can be read by all the extant e-reader devices. (shrug) It’s a huge step for Sony that they support things *other* than BBeB in the first place — they even have an SD card slot! That’s a huge concession, seeing as it’s Sony. :)

    Back-Lighting — this comes up a LOT. e-ink is, in fact, opaque. You’d just as well try backlighting a piece of plywood. :) The way it works is by moving black and white particles around inside tiny bubbles, but when a given bubble is white on the *front,* all the little black particles are at the *back* of that bubble. There are, however, a number of ways to light a regular paper book (pbook) that we’re already familiar with that will work for this. The one I want to try is the LightWedge.com approach. But there you go.

    DRM — note that the DRM limitations only apply to *books bought from Sony’s Connect store* — if you don’t plan on using that service, then you don’t really care what they do with their DRM, right? I don’t. :)

    Somebody mentioned hacking — let me point out that the Sony runs a Linux OS. That alone pretty much *guaranties* it will be hacked. :D Some of the folks over at MobileRead.com started hacking their iLiad Readers before they fully charged the batteries.

    MacPuters — the only thing about the Sony Reader that doesn’t work with a Mac is the Sony Connect Store software. You can load your content onto an SD or Memory Stick and transfer it that way, or presumably you can treat it as a USB drive (it isn’t yet clear if that will actually work or not). Again, if you don’t want to buy Sony’s nasty DRMed books (and who can blame you?) then you don’t need the Connect Software. If you don’t need the software to read stuff of your own and from other sources, then what does it matter if it won’t run on your Mac? As far as you’re concerned, Sony can take their XP only software and …. :)

    Several folks mentioned a Palm-based reader, I currently read on my Tungsten T3, I’d far rather have an e-ink screen. Increased legibility, decreased eye-strain, battery life in excess of the paltry 3 hours my Palm gives me (with the backlight turned down, thank you)…. Well, you get the idea. :) These benefits will go along with *any* e-ink device, not just Sony, but also the other choices I mentioned above. Check out the MobileRead forums for details. I should also mention here, that I believe all three of these readers allow for font resizing/zooming on the fly. I know the Sony does, and I’m pretty sure the other two are supposed to when they’re software is complete. :)

    I suppose here is a good place to comment on the screen. I’ve seen one of these displays for myself on an iRex iLiad — a fellow who lives near me bought one, and was gracious enough to let me buy him coffee and drool over his new toy. I’ve been following e-ink for several years now, I’ve read the hyperbolic descriptions of just how wonderful the screen is. In short, I *expected* it to be amazing. I was *still* just plain *amazed* by how good it is. If you printed something onto very light gray paper with a laser printer and put it inside a sheet protector, you would get a pretty good idea of what an e-ink display looks like.

    Somebody mentioned MP3′s — all three of the e-ink readers play (unsecured) MP3 files, it happens that the Sony plays AAC files too. :) Not playing WMA files has more to do with MicroSoft’s licensing practices than anything else, I expect.

    The iRex iLiad was mentioned too. Right now, they’re selling those units, but they’re requiring a formal acknowledgement from customers that the OS and Apps are still not finished. The screen refreshes are getting increasingly faster with each OS release — the progress can be followed on iRex’s forum, and also on MobileRead.com’s forum. I’d suggest waiting until they announce that the OS is where they want it to be before making any real evaluations as to how it performs. It’s only fair, right? :)

    Refresh rates — e-ink displays *are* a bit slow to refresh. There’s two basic speeds, full and quick, that run 1 second and .5 seconds, respectively. The difference is that the full has less ghosting, but the slow way’s ghosting is supposed to be about like show through on a pbook’s page. Before reacting too much to the refresh rate, consider how long it takes you to flip a paper page (especially when they want to stick together!) — a second really isn’t that egregious. As the iLiad software gets closer to where it is aimed to be, the page turns get closer to the 1 second, range. It comes back to the question of are these drawbacks things I’m willing to deal with to get the benefits? The trade-offs on an e-ink reader seem to be pretty minor from what I can tell. But that’s my perspective. (shrug)

    EBookwise/RocketBook reader — I think the best comment I can make on that is that a fair number of the folks over at the MobileRead forums now itching for e-ink are former or current users of EBookwise/RocketBook readers, and others like them. :)

  23. Scott
    Dec 09, 2006 @ 21:48:54

    I purchased the sony e-book and I’m extremely unhappy with it. I can read pdf files better on my PDA then I can with this piece of junk. If this would work the way I expected it would be a perfect fit for my needs.

  24. NatCh
    Dec 10, 2006 @ 23:53:48

    Yeah, the A4 (Letter Sized) PDF thing has become pretty well known in the ~2.5 months since the Reader has been out — it just doesn’t work very well to display an A4 page on a 6″ screen. :(

    However, let me respectfully point out that it does some other reading functions very well, including PDF files where the page size is formatted to the 6″ screen.

    I’m very sorry that you weren’t able to find enough info to learn better what you ought to expect from the Reader before you bought it. It doubtless would have saved you a good deal of disappointment and hassle. :(

    If anyone else wants a good look at what the Reader does and doesn’t do well, hop on over to the MobileRead.com Sony Reader forum, since MobileRead is a site aimed at discussing reading on mobile platforms, you can find a lot of info there — probably more than you want. :)

  25. Jim Pluth
    Apr 08, 2007 @ 17:40:16

    Wait.

    This may not be the ultimate e book, but, for travelers it is another “MUST HAVE CAUSE I FLY SO MUCH IN FIRST CLASS” tool. I have logged 65,000 airline miles in 3 months. Between my I Pod, my Bose Noise canceling headset, and my E book, I can travel with sanity. I have read 8 or 9 books since Jan on my E reader and love it. I love how light and small it is, but I really love how it feels like a book. I use I connect and buy from Sony. SUre I would like better selections and better software, but the device is the BEST.

    Every seatmate I have had has been impressed. And a Ex-Pat friend in China loves that they can get books from anywhere.

    No, it is not Ipod Gen 1. But the killer Ipod was really Gen 4 (click wheel). Give this a couple more generations. It will be killer.

  26. Brent K
    Jul 22, 2007 @ 17:14:03

    My biggest woe concerning my brand spanking new reader is that I can’t purchase from the connect store..I’m not a US resident nor do I use US Credit Cards.
    Good lesson in doing your homework prior to purchase, isn’t it?
    As previously mentioned, and as I was informed by Sony support in response to my “What the…” query, it’s possible purchase books from other sources, but I’ve yet to find one that comes close to the admittedly sparse selection available through Sony. On the bright side, this may be the proverbial straw that frees me from my obsessional brand loyalty to Sony, dating back to ’85…

  27. Jane
    Jul 22, 2007 @ 22:13:49

    Brent K – If you go to MobileRead.com forum, there are us readers who will buy a GC for you that you can use.

  28. Spooky
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 21:56:18

    What is the appeal of a dedicated ebook reader and who cares if it reads like paper? I am a true avid reader. And as an avid reader from a family of non-readers, I had to find my reading where I could get it as a child. Thus, I saw anything with words as being worth reading (resulting in the most bizarre trivia knowledge) and have no necessary connection of reading to “book-shaped object.” I have used a PalmOS device for virtually all my pleasure reading for more than five years and can’t imagine going back to paper! Eink sacrifices one of ereading’s biggest advantages–the backlight for low light situations. I have recently purchased a smartphone that I use for reading, music, quick internet access (not surfing, just a quick look-up), personal accounting, and, of course phone calls. That’s way cooler that Sony’s oversized, overly proprietary, overpriced piece of junk. Then to add to the insult to not support even Mac (although I’d prefer Linux support, I know that’s a tall order). Eink is probably the dumbest part of it all. You may as well stay with paper if it’s better. If not, step into the 21st century.

  29. Nicole
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 23:23:54

    Spooky, some of us get eye strain from reading for long periods with a backlight (and it’s not from old age). And I’d bet that would be even worse with the larger screen size (which is a big thing for me with the Sony Reader). And reading on the ppc in brightly lit areas was a huge energy hog as I’d have to put the backlight on high just to read it. Not a problem with the Reader.

    Yes, it’s not perfect. But it is a Sony product so people expect proprietary formats from them. It’s what we’ve always gotten from Sony. Yes, it sucks, but that’s just the way it is.

    I look forward to seeing what other companies will put out and I’m sure that eventually there will be something for everyone. No one should expect perfection the first time out.

    Quite frankly, I haven’t grabbed my ppc (what I used to read my ebooks on) since I got the Reader. I really like the Reader that much.

  30. Volodymyr Stefanyuk
    Dec 29, 2007 @ 05:11:24

    PDFCropper is the application, designed to solve the problem with preparing for reading normal sized (A4-like) pdf’s on relative small (Sony Reader PRS500/PRS505, iRex Illiad etc.) devices.

    The problem is that pdf is not reformat able by nature. Yes, there is reflow mode in Acrobat Reader, but at first Acrobat Reader is not available for most e-book readers (especially for e-ink devices),
    and second even with reflow function reading of complex content (technical books, magazines etc.) is not comfortable. Bad formatted pdf’s and wide white spaces make the situation even worse.

    The only way how this problem can be solved (at least based on my experience) to cut original pages into smaller pages with removing white spaces.
    This is exactly what program do. But comparing with similar software PDFCropper is much more flexible, that allows to prepare books with much better quality in a very short time.

    Currently PDFCropper can produce text and image pdf’s. Later additional output formats (lrf, lrs, wolf etc.) will be added.

    PDFCropper web-site currently is under construction. But it is already available for downloading:

    PDFCropper v1.0 RC2 – http://rapidshare.com/files/79718571/Setup.exe.html

    Trial version of PDFCropper is fully functional, but output pages are shuffled and include watermark (which by the way displays registration code that you need for obtaining license).

    There are no yet tutorial or help available. But I prepared “How To” demo-video:

    http://rapidshare.com/files/79717770/PDFCropper_-_How_To.swf.html

    Also, anyone interesting in software, can send me example pdf, and I will send back resulted pdf prepared via application.

    You can ask any questions about using or installing software (and details about purchasing the license) via e-mail:
    [email protected]

    P.S. Application is implemented by using Java. You have to have installed Java environment version 1.5 or higher.
    Also Ghostscript has to be installed. In case if it is not, application will propose you to download.

  31. V.Stefanyuk
    Jan 29, 2008 @ 05:03:11

    PDFCropper is the application, designed to solve the problem with preparing for reading normal sized (A4, B4, C4, letter etc.) pdf’s on relative small (Sony Reader PRS500/PRS505, iRex Illiad etc.) devices.

    The problem is that pdf is not reformat able by nature. Yes, there is reflow mode in Acrobat Reader, but at first Acrobat Reader is not available for most e-book readers (especially for e-ink devices),
    and second even with reflow function reading of complex content (technical books, magazines etc.) is not comfortable. Bad formatted pdf’s and wide white spaces make the situation even worse.

    The only way how this problem can be solved (at least based on my experience) to cut original pages into smaller pages with removing white spaces.
    This is exactly what program do. But comparing with similar software PDFCropper is much more flexible, that allows to prepare books with much better quality in a very short time.

    PDFCropper can produce text and image pdf’s.

    PDFCropper web-site currently is under construction. But it is already available for downloading:

    PDFCropper v1.1 RC1 links:

    http://rapidshare.com/files/87491638/PDFCropper1_1RC1Setup.exe.html
    or
    http://www.filefactory.com/file/a07bc5/
    or
    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=JI7CM0N4

    Trial version of PDFCropper is fully functional, the only thing – output pages include watermark (which by the way displays registration code that you need for obtaining license).

    And you can download and value an example of prepared (cropped) pdf:

    This is original one – http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/download/langspec-3.0.pdf

    These are links to cropped one:

    http://rapidshare.com/files/87301097/The_Java_Language_Specification.pdf.html
    or
    http://www.filefactory.com/file/252400/
    or
    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=8KW32DJT

    And these are links to the one cropped as image pages (only some pages are there, due large file size):

    http://rapidshare.com/files/87486857/The_Java_Language_Specification__images__partly_.pdf.html
    or
    http://www.filefactory.com/file/d02ead/
    or
    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=MJCYT8KH

    Also, anyone interesting in software, can send me example pdf, and I will send back resulted pdf prepared via application.

    License price per one computer is 20 euro. Payment can be made via PayPal or directly to bank account.

    You can ask any questions about using or installing software and details about purchasing the license via e-mail:

    [email protected]

    P.S. Application is implemented by using Java. You have to have installed Java environment version 1.5 or higher.
    Also Ghostscript has to be installed. In case if it is not, application will propose you to download.

    Change log:
    v1.1 RC1 – fixed the bug with adding table of contents (now appropriate menu item in Sony PRS 500/505 display table of contents correctly).
    added separate option for adding clickable table of contents pages.
    added displaying of table of contents in the left pane.
    improved auto-framing functionality – added possiblty to create frames with size proportional to device size (paper size setting in Crop Settings dialog).
    improved cropping funcionality – added possibility to remove empty frames in resulting pdf (“Skip empty frames” option in Crop dialog).
    improved dialogs input errors displaying, errorness fields are highlighted by red.
    fixed bug with deleting last unaccessible project reference from recent projects list.
    added pdf restrictions checking during opening pdf. in case if there are no enough rights for pdf manipulating – program will ask pdf user password.
    example pdf’s are updated.
    simplified trial mode – removed pages shuffling!

  32. jill
    Sep 26, 2008 @ 13:34:53

    If you’re looking for a good case for the reader there’s one here: http://www.sfbags.com

  33. Don
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 15:02:41

    The problem is that pdf is not reformat able by nature. Yes, there is reflow mode in Acrobat Reader, but at first Acrobat Reader is not available for most e-book readers (especially for e-ink devices),
    and second even with reflow function reading of complex content (technical books, magazines etc.) is not comfortable. Bad formatted pdf's and wide white spaces make the situation even worse
    See Ebooks – Ereaders

  34. Shanna
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 01:49:07

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have
    truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  35. plateforme solidaire
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 22:46:48

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checmbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.

    Is there any way you can remove mme from that service?
    Appreciate it!

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